“The real reason why Duterte fired her was because she wanted to change the conduct of the failed drug war. She wanted to expose corruption and other misdeeds. She wanted an end to extra-judicial killings. Duterte did not want those. And so Robredo had to go.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte received flak for firing Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of the inter-agency body against illegal drugs.
In a statement, Renato Reyes Jr., Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general, said, “In this entire episode, it is Duterte who looks politically weak and amateurish. He had been outwitted by the VP in this “game of thrones”. More importantly, the problems of the drug war continue to be discussed and continue to demand solutions.”
No less than President Duterte offered the anti-drug war co-chair post of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs to Robredo – only to be criticized by the president’s allies, saying that there was no room to “play cute.”
She did not.
During her two-week stint, Robredo has met with several local and foreign officials on the anti-drug war campaign. She, too, has issued statements pushing for data-driven war against illegal drugs.
Duterte, according to Reyes, was never serious in offering the job to the vice president and “expected her to decline,” adding that he “did not expect her to call his bluff.”
“The real reason why Duterte fired her was because she wanted to change the conduct of the failed drug war. She wanted to expose corruption and other misdeeds. She wanted an end to extra-judicial killings. Duterte did not want those. And so Robredo had to go,” he said.
Exposing the real syndicates
In a statement, Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison said Duterte looked like a fool by firing her after only two weeks.
Duterte, he added, was afraid that Robredo will discover from both local officials and US intelligence how he “protects biggest drug lords under his mafia syndicate or crime family.”
Sison noted that the problem of illegal drugs has worsened under the Duterte regime “because it protects the drug lords as the suppliers and engages in mass murder at the expense of the poor people who are suspected of being drug users and pushers.”